Volunteer Paula Randell is the driving force behind the new Presteigne Macmillan drop-in sessions. We asked Paula to tell us about her hopes for the drop-in sessions.
Where and when are the drop-in sessions?
The Presteigne Macmillan drop-in sessions are held at Presteigne Assembly Rooms, Broad Street, Presteigne, Powys, LD8 2AD,
Our very First one to be held on Monday 8th May 2017 then every second Monday of the month after that.
They run from 9am to 11am.
What can people expect when they come to the Presteigne drop-in sessions?
People attending the drop-in session should expect to be greeted with a friendly face and welcomed into a safe, warm environment. Someone will be ready to listen to any questions or concerns and a chance to have a cuppa and meet others in similar situations.
Why did you set it up the drop-in sessions?
I set up this drop-in session because I think there is a big hole in communication between diagnosis and treatment which needs filling, especially in our area on the border.
What do you think are the challenges for people living in rural Wales to accessing cancer information and support?
Living on the border is difficult because everyone gets diagnosed in Hereford or out of Wales. This leads to patients being sent home with a diagnosis without their doctor knowing at times, and not being aware of support available in Wales, as they were diagnosed somewhere else – leaving people feeling lost.
You are a very active fundraiser for Macmillan, tell us some of the activities that you have been involved with?
I started by doing the World’s Biggest Coffee Mornings, I was so impressed with how the event was organised. Then after a few years and with the Macmillan family being so friendly, I started to review hospital booklets at home.
Then I saw the Brave to Shave campaign and I thought !I can do that!” – and so I did! The support and reaction locally was amazing, I found I was helping people in a whole new way. I have recently done the new Murder Mystery night which was brilliant fun.
I found that people have started to seek me out for information so thought I’d make it easier with a regular drop in session.
Any future fundraising plans?
My future plans are to be open minded and just see what catches my eye next, though I am attending the volunteers conference soon so there will be loads of ideas coming up.
You are a great supporter of Macmillan Cymru Wales. What is your cancer experience?
My cancer experience is probably pretty average. My grandparents had cancer, and my old friend in school lost her dad, but personally I wasn’t necessary directly effected until after I started volunteering.
Since then I have got close to many people with cancer, including my father in law and a great friend, Mick. I’m very sorry we lost both of these amazing people at the end of last year.
But this all fuels my energy to do more!
Thanks to Paula for chatting with us. Good luck with the drop-in sessions!
If you’re seeking information about cancer or just want a chat, pop in and say hello, then please come to the Macmillan Presteign drop-in sessions. There is a wide range of leaflets offering practical information and support and it’s also a great opportunity to find out how you can support local fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support
If Paula has inspired you to volunteer for Macmillan, find out more on our website: https://volunteering.macmillan.org.uk
If you have any questions about cancer talk to our Support Line on 0808 808 0000 (open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm) or visit our website www.macmillan.org.uk for information and support.